SINGER GEORGE MICHAEL has taken to Twitter to reveal his experiences with the now-defunct newspaper, the News of the World.
Michael said that he had been asked to talk at the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics, set up in the wake of the phone hacking scandal at the News International title.
However, he declined to take part – saying that the inquiry was “bullsh*t”.
Tweeting yesterday, he said:
It has been several years since two hacking journalists were sent to prison for bugging the royal family. They remain the only people who have been tried in the criminal courts.
Why on earth are the rights of the royal family more important than those of Milly Dowler’s parents, or of any of the hundreds of people whose lives have been violated by the press?
Michael said he would be happy to help in such inquiries “the day they make this sham real and start genuinely prosecuting people”.
This morning, he dismissed reports that he was “lying” about being approached by the Leveson Inquiry.
He said that although he did not wish to take part – for the reasons stated above – he had nevertheless sent the Inquiry a letter of apology from “a poor man who was blackmailed into giving News International a completely fictional account of meeting (Michael) on Hampstead Heath”.
The man, Michael said, had been approached at his home by two News of the World reporters claiming they had night vision pictures of him having sex with a celebrity at the London park – and threatened to publish them if he did not take daylight photographs with them “then and there”.
In the letter, the man allegedly told Michael the reporters would not tell him the identity of the celebrity with whom he was supposed to have had the encounter until after he had agreed to the pictures and given his signature.
When they finally told him, the man responded that it wasn’t possible the person had been George Michael – as the man he had met with “was about 6 foot four and had a Dutch accent”, Michael tweeted.
He told me that he had approached several television and news outlets to refute the story and make it up to me, but no one was interested
… Other than The Sunday Mirror, who said that they might follow up his story but only if (and here comes the sickest bit!) he was HIV positive.
Michael said he thought the letter was a “perfect example of just how horrific the methods of News International had become, and that the inquiry may be more sympathetic to a member of the public than just another celeb complaining about their lot. So I sent it to them.”
He added: “I was going to save it for the memoirs, but f**k it :) “.